Minister Catherine Martin announced the acquisition of over 100 works of contemporary art to the National Collection. This was supported by an allocation of €1.5m from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery. The purpose of the award was to respond to significant gaps identified in the Collections of the National Cultural Institutions. These new additions to the National Collection will ensure that it is more representative of the diverse communities of contemporary Ireland.
The new works include painting, sculpture, photography, installation, works on paper, digital media works and textiles, by both Irish and international artists. The acquisitions, which encompass pressing issues including climate change, diversity and global migration, will ensure that seminal artists previously missing from the National Collection are now represented. This investment builds upon the €1m fund provided to Crawford Art Gallery and IMMA in 2020 for the acquisition of artworks to support Irish artists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking about the announcement, Minister Martin said, “it is critical that our National Collection speak to Irish audiences about the issues that matter now. This significant investment in acquisitions at IMMA and the Crawford delivers on that need and strengthens the holdings of both institutions. It is heartening to see generations of artists finally find their home in the Collection and to see the complexity and diversity of our nation reflected in these exciting works.”
Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Annie Fletcher, stated, “the impact of this acquisitions funding cannot be underestimated. It has re-focused and reinvigorated the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s resolute determination to build a vital, accessible and ambitious world class Collection for Ireland. We recognise and sincerely thank Minister Martin’s commitment to the arts and for her Department’s support in realising these strategic aims with our valued colleagues in the Crawford Art Gallery. This important injection of funding matches our ambitions and commitment to make IMMA a significant site and resource of Irish and international artwork for the Irish public now and into the future.”
Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, Mary McCarthy, said, “we are deeply appreciative of the Minister and her Department’s support of Crawford Art Gallery to expand our Collection at this key time. The works acquired breathe new energy into our Collection and will ensure that new conversations through the artworks can continue to be made across the centuries. It provides much needed support for artists and galleries as well as providing the public with an opportunity to see these works in context with the wider National Collection. The collaboration with IMMA has been significant and one that we will sustain into the future.”